Wolff surprised by positive response to retirement announcement

© Getty Images
1 Comment

LONDON – Williams test driver Susie Wolff is surprised by the “overwhelmingly positive” response she has received since announcing her decision to retire earlier this month.

Wolff has been the leading female driver in Formula 1 over the past few years, becoming the first woman to take part in a grand prix weekend session in 22 years during practice for last year’s British Grand Prix.

Three more F1 practice sessions followed, but Wolff confirmed three weeks ago that she would be hanging up her helmet following this weekend’s Race of Champions in London.

Speaking to MotorSportsTalk ahead of the event, Wolff said that she was feeling very positive ahead of the weekend despite it being her competitive racing event.

“I’m actually just feeling really happy,” she said. “I’m very happy with my decision, it feels like the right time, and it’s a great event to go out on. It’s so much fun out there, so looking forward to the weekend.

“I always said throughout my whole career that as soon as I felt that I couldn’t go any further, I was going to call it a day.

“I realized in the summer of this year that I couldn’t get any further, I couldn’t get onto the grid next year, and for me, my gut feeling tells me that it’s time for something else; a new challenge, a new chapter, because I’ve been racing since I was eight.

“It’s been a fantastic journey but it’s time for something new.”

When asked how she had found the public reaction to her announcement, Wolff said: “Overwhelmingly positive, which was a shock because I’ve always had my critics out there.

“But I think ultimately it was, for me, really, really nice to see how many people I had inspired along the way because I never set out to be a role model or to be someone inspirational.

“Somehow I managed to throughout my career inspire people. So for me that was very, very touching to hear and to read.”

Wolff will take part in the Race of Champions Nations Cup on Friday, racing for Team Scotland alongside ex-F1 driver David Coulthard, before vying for individual honors on Saturday at London’s former Olympic Stadium.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.